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Yesterday, Ford trademarked the name “Rattler.” Cool name. But what is it? We know that car companies file trademarks months in advance of any scheduled launch. And this filing specifically would apply to a name for “motor vehicles, namely, automobiles, pick-up trucks, electric vehicles, sport utility vehicles, off-road vehicles, and their structural parts.”

The Rattler name would make the most sense on a Maverick pickup

an orange ford maverick compact pickup truck parked outside of a house
2022 Ford Maverick 2L-EcoBoost AWD | Ford Media

That covers a variety of different types of vehicles that Ford makes. But of all of the vehicle types listed, which one would the name Rattler best apply to? That’s easy; an off-road vehicle. It should be noted, however, that birds like raptors prey on snakes in the desert. 

So, what would it mean if Ford chose Rattler for an off-road brand? A Ford spokesperson told Motor1, “Trademark applications are intended to protect new phrases, designs, or symbols, but aren’t necessarily an indication of a new business or product plans.”

Raptor, Tremor, Rattler; what do they have in common?

2021 Ford Ranger in red, on the trails
2021 Ford Ranger | Ford

As a top-of-the-line model like the Raptor is to the F-150, it makes sense that Rattler would be applied to the top dog within the Maverick brand. But the Tremor package is found in the Raptor line, so maybe this is just another type of Raptor? As prey for birds, a sub-brand of Raptor called Rattler doesn’t make sense. 

We’ll need to wait a bit more to see what a Ford Rattler is

A yellow 2021 Ford Bronco compact SUV traveling on trail near a wooded area
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford Motor Company

At this stage, we’re just riffing. None of the car companies reveal their plans until close to a launch. So we didn’t expect Ford to spill the beans on the Rattler name just yet. But at this point, the most likely application for the Rattler name would be a high-end Maverick pickup. Whether this thinking holds up or not, we’ll have to wait and see. 

But for now, Ford is out of new vehicles to launch. The Mustang Mach-E, Bronco Sport, And Bronco have all debuted. So has the F-150 refresh and new Explorer. Except for the Mustang, everything is all-new at Ford. So it will take sub-brands like a Rattler to carry some of the news-y weight going forward.